Overfishing occurs when fish are removed from a body of water at a rate faster than they can reproduce.

In addition, commercial fishing techniques such as longlining and bottom trawling, both haul in and kill massive amounts of unwanted, non-targeted fish and animals.

Large fish are usually targeted first. Larger fish that live a long time, and are slowest to reproduce, are the most vulnerable to overfishing. These are typically the ‘apex’ predators.

After the apex predators are targeted and fished out, fishermen will typically then turn next to the species just below them on the food chain. And so on, down the chain..

The long-term trend is clear. Unless something changes, many scientists predict that the oceans fish stock will be depleted by the year 2050.

Learn More:

The Fight Against Empty Oceans

Fishermen, fishing businesses and conservationists share a similar goal, and lawmakers from both parties have historically worked together to solve the challenges of overfishing and create a law that keeps commercial and recreational fishermen out on the water. But it appears the tides have changed. Article from Ocean Conservancy.

Overfishing: The most serious threat to our oceans

Overfishing is catching too many fish at once, so the breeding population becomes too depleted to recover. Overfishing often goes hand in hand with wasteful types of commercial fishing that haul in massive amounts of unwanted fish or other animals, which are then discarded. Article from the Environmental Defense Fund.

Overfishing & Destructive Fishing

Currently, less than two percent of our oceans are set aside as marine reserves, making it all too easy to exploit their resources. Overfishing and destructive, wasteful fishing practices are threatening the health of our oceans and food security for communities everywhere. Article from Greenpeace.

Stop Overfishing and Restore Fisheries

Decades of destructive fishing practices have torn apart the ocean’s web of life, leaving many aquatic species severely depleted, some on the brink of extinction. Scientists estimate that the world’s large ocean fish, including tuna and swordfish, have declined by up to 90 percent from preindustrial levels. NRDC works to end overfishing, rebuild depleted fisheries, and promote the long-term sustainability of fisheries through firm catch limits based on scientific evidence.

Overfishing, illegal and destructive fishing

In the early 90s the impact of overfishing was increasingly a concern, culminating in the devastating effects of the collapse of Canada’s Grand Banks cod fishery in 1992. Over 35,000 fishers and plant workers from more than 400 coastal communities lost their jobs. This event was one of the catalysts for the creation of the MSC.